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Shakespeare in the Park

AYLI

Celebrating its 37th year, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival brings its performance of As You Like It to Downtown Redwood City for 3 weekends in August! Shakespeare in the Park will offer 3 evening shows on Saturdays and 3 late afternoon shows on Sundays while providing an opportunity to see high quality, professional theater in the relaxing outdoor setting of Sequoia Campus, free of charge. Treat yourself to some Shakespeare this August, for a moment that is sure to please.  

Free Shakespeare in the Park began in 1983, with its debut production of The Tempest in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. It is now one of the major free Shakespeare programs in the nation. Free Shakespeare in the Park provides an opportunity for everyone to see high quality, professional theater at no cost.

About the Show- As You Like It

As in other comedies written during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, As You Like It celebrates a brave woman who pursues her own destiny in defiance of cultural norms. Like Olivia in Twelfth Night, Rosalind dresses as a man in order to outsmart the patriarchal obstacles of her world. At the start of the play, we learn that her father, the good Duke Senior, has been usurped by his rotten brother, Frederick, and has fled into “voluntary exile” before the play’s opening. This makes the court of Duke Frederick a dangerous place for Rosalind. And indeed, her uncle considers her a political threat and banishes her. Rosalind preempts her expulsion by venturing into exile with her best friend, Celia. Both adopt disguises: Rosalind cross-dresses as Ganymede and Celia refashions herself as Aliena- an alias that foreshadows their imminent status as aliens or strangers. Celia is Duke Frederick’s daughter, so her loyalty to Rosalind and flight from her father’s court constitute acts of defiance.  

Accompanied by the court jester, the friends flee to the Forest of Arden. The forest is a typical destination for Shakespeare’s comedies. As in a play like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the forest magnifies and distorts the problems of civilization to comic proportions only to resolve them for the protagonists’ reentry into the normal world at play’s end. Rosalind’s time in the forest will allow her to explore the politics of Elizabethan gender roles and the limits of her desire for Orlando.

For more info, click here.

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